Mark 10:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 10:12, NIV: And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.'

Mark 10:12, ESV: and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Mark 10:12, KJV: And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Mark 10:12, NASB: and if she herselfdivorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.'

Mark 10:12, NLT: And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.'

Mark 10:12, CSB: Also, if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

What does Mark 10:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the second century BC, Roman women were granted the right to divorce their husbands, but Jewish women still aren't allowed to today. This verse would mean that the woman left her husband without officially divorcing, and then married another man. Or Jesus could be referring to Gentile women, who comprised much of Mark's audience. A prominent example in that moment was Herodias. Herodias divorced her husband to marry his half-brother, Antipas, who rules over Galilee and Perea, where Jesus is now. It was Herodias who arranged to have John the Baptist killed after he condemned her marriage to Antipas (Mark 6:14–29).

Jesus' words in Matthew 5:32 are stronger. He says that if anyone divorces his wife for any reason other than adultery, he "makes her commit adultery." Women were not allowed to hold their own property. They were usually supported by their sons. If a man divorced his wife, he kept the children. Her survival might necessitate marrying again, but to do so would be to commit adultery.

Jesus' words here respond to a question the Pharisees posed to trap Him. He is condemning men who send away their wives for trivial reasons. He is not speaking to someone distraught by the possibility of a divorce, caught in an abusive marriage, or contemplating remarriage after a divorce. Getting married after being divorced for unbiblical grounds is adultery, but the new marriage is as sanctified by God as any other. Being remarried is not a state of sin. And Jesus says that anyone who looks at someone who is not their spouse has committed adultery (Matthew 5:28). There are very few in the world who are truly sexually pure.